Incontinence is a common problem in older adults; however, you can manage it with the right care and treatment. At Lightyear Health in San Diego, California, the team develops personalized plans to treat urinary and bowel incontinence. The primary care practice cares for older adults in assisted-living communities in San Diego, Fresno, Bakersfield, Palm Springs, and Riverside, California, and provides bedside consultations, as well as telemedicine appointments.

To schedule an incontinence consultation, contact us today.

Incontinence Q & A

What is incontinence?

Incontinence means loss of control over the contents of your bladder or bowel.

Urinary incontinence

Urinary continence, or bladder incontinence, occurs when you accidentally leak urine. The amount of urine leakage may range from a small dribble to the entire contents of your bladder.

Bowel incontinence

Like urinary incontinence, bowel incontinence occurs when you accidentally pass stool.

What causes urinary incontinence?

Urinary incontinence is a symptom with many possible causes, ranging from an acute illness to a chronic health condition. Common conditions causing urine leakage may include:

  • Urinary tract infection (UTI)
  • Constipation
  • A side effect of medication
  • Weak bladder muscles
  • Overactive bladder muscles
  • Urinary blockage (enlarged prostate in men)
  • Bladder nerve damage

Chronic medical conditions that affect your physical ability to get to the bathroom on time, such as arthritis or chronic pain, may also cause urinary incontinence.

What causes bowel incontinence?

You may develop bowel incontinence from any number of conditions. Common causes include:

  • Chronic constipation
  • Fecal impaction
  • A side effect of long-term laxative use
  • Severe diarrhea
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Emotional turmoil

Bowel incontinence may also occur in people experiencing stress due to a change in their environment or living situation.

What can I expect during an incontinence consultation?

You can expect a patient-focused and compassionate evaluation for your incontinence from the team at Lightyear Health. They take a holistic approach to care, evaluating your whole health, not just your incontinence.

During your exam, your provider asks detailed questions about your incontinence, including type, frequency, and triggers, if known. They also review your medical history, bathroom habits, and the types of medications and supplements you take.

Your provider performs a physical and may run lab work or conduct diagnostic tests to confirm or rule out a medical condition that may explain your incontinence. The team also talks to your family and caregivers to fully understand your health needs.

The team conducts consultation at your home or virtually through their telemedicine service.

How is incontinence treated?

The health experts at Lightyear Health develop individualized treatment plans for incontinence based on type, underlying cause, the severity of symptoms, functional impairments, and personal preferences.

Treatment for bowel or bladder incontinence may include:

  • Medication
  • Specialized equipment
  • Behavioral and environmental interventions
  • Bathroom schedule

The team also educates your family and the staff at your assisted-living facility about your treatment plan and how they can help.

To schedule an incontinence evaluation, contact Lightyear Health today.